February 14, 2008

St Valentine’s Day Massacre

On February 14, 1929, seven men gathered at the SMC Cartage Company garage on Clark Street: Johnny May, Frank and Pete Gusenberg, James Clark, Adam Heyer, Al Weinshank, and Reinhardt Schwimmer, all friends of George 'Bugs' Moran. Moran himself was scheduled to be there as well, but he was running late.

Two men in uniform exited a police car out front and entered the garage, declaring they were on an investigation. The mobsters cooperated and lined up against the wall, their backs to the uniformed men. The two 'policemen' then opened the front door for two men in plain clothes, and all four began shooting Moran's men with two sub-machine guns, a sawed-off shotgun, and a .45. The seven victims slumped to the floor in a horrific bloody mess, thus resulting in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

The noise of gunfire caught the attraction of several people in the area. The pair in street clothes came out with their hands up, escorted into the police car by the men in uniform. Witnesses assumed they saw an arrest taking place, when actually, they were watching four murderers make their getaway.

This infamous story is a defining moment in Chicago's history. The Windy City is well-known for its mobster past, with morbid tales of men with nicknames like 'Scarface,' 'Killer,' 'Machine Gun,' and 'The Scourge.' But unfortunately for crime buffs, the building where this fascinatingly horrendous scene took place was demolished in 1967. The 417 bullet-riddled bricks of the rear wall were purchased, saved, and eventually sold for $1000 each. However, many of the bricks were actually returned, because the buyers began experiencing illness, financial ruin, and all-around bad luck.

If you'd like to visit the former site of the garage yourself, it was located at 2122 N Clark St. It is now marked by a fenced lawn and five trees. The center tree marks the area where the seven men met their demise. But beware! Many pet-owners have noticed that their dogs are especially agitated when walking near here, and strange noises have been reported by passersby.

SMC Cartage Co. (former site): 2122 N Clark St
Street parking difficult
Public trans: Bus # 22, 36, 73


4 comments to St Valentine’s Day Massacre

  1. b5media - You Gotta Have Heart!
    February 14th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    [...] Paul at Starked DC’s post A Far Cry From Lupercalia, or a more grittier look back with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, from Matt at The Chicago [...]

  2. Go ’round the world with love
    February 14th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    [...] try Paul at Starked DC's post A Far Cry From Lupercalia, or a more grittier look back with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, from Matt at The Chicago [...]

  3. Weekend Quickies (Oct 10-12, ‘08)
    October 9th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    [...] see something spooky? Take the Chicago Hauntings Ghost Tour, featuring Hull House, the sites of the St Valentine's Day Massacre and Eastland Disaster, and more. (RSVP [...]

  4. Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co. Goes to Pot
    October 24th, 2008 at 6:38 am

    [...] Company is located across the street from where the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929 occurred, and rumor has it that the three-story brownstone served as a lookout point for [...]

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